Interview with STONY BLYDEN | FOCUSING ON MY HAPPINESS
Happiness is the kind of state of being that allows us to experience life in its fullest potential. We often take situations too seriously and can even get frustrated when our focus stays long on what doesn’t work. We were, now are and will always be in a state of becoming as wanting more is a human natural response to ever-expanding Universe and the World we are part of.
Perhaps instead of setting goals, we are to visualize our dreams just for the feeling of it and the knowledge that manifestation it’s on its way. Meditation as a tool is great to help us quite our mind and feel the energy running to us, through us and receiving thoughts and ideas that represent scenarios we want to experience, something like creating our own movie.
Artist Stony Blyden, who can be seen as Emerson on NBC’s legal drama Bluff City Law, says: ” I’ve also started meditating quite a bit. One of my castmates, Barry, introduced me to the twenty for twenty challenge. Twenty minutes of meditation for twenty days. It really does not come easy to me but I’m forcing myself to do it and I find that it’s been very beneficial.”
In this sincere interview with Stony, you will resonate with his path to seek happiness in everything he does, as well as his inspiring journey of successful accomplishments as an artist.
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Stony Blyden?
Stony is a twenty-something-year-old actor, singer, rapper, producer from Reykjavík, Iceland. Living in Los Angeles. Generally pretty happy. A habitual over-thinker.
- Before even finishing school, you decided to move from Iceland to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. What inspired you to take such a courageous action and embrace an unorthodox path towards your dream?
Growing up in a small farm town in Iceland, Hollywood seemed like such a far fetched thing to me. It didn’t seem real. And honestly, now that I live here it still doesn’t feel real. In a fun way. Sometimes. I always knew I wanted to be an actor from the time I was thirteen years old making short horror films and creating Jackass-Esque stunt videos with my friends. I was super shy but I loved performing. It often felt more natural to me than real life.
School was never my thing. Not saying it shouldn’t be for other kids, but it definitely wasn’t for me. So when I dropped out I had a couple of months to think about the direction I wanted to take and everything sort of led to the arts. Why not give LA a shot. What’s the worst that could happen? I bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles and told my mom that if I didn’t book anything in three months I’d come back home.
I stayed in an Airbnb with seven other people all pursuing the same thing. I searched on backstage.com and went to the first audition I could find. It was a commercial for Disney Channel and somehow I booked it. Those three months turned into four years. Four years of highs and lows. A lot of lows. But I try to stay positive and optimistic during those lows and not let my ego get the best of me during the highs. In LA you can have this idea that you’re one in a million but then you look around and realize there’s a million of those. It’s great.
- As a young actor, you are the future of the entertainment industry. What do you love most about the industry and how do you feel about its expansion?
I love the freedom of expression young people have today. Everything from Youtube to TikTok. Platforms and channels you can start in your bedroom. You can write your own sketches, movies, and gain a substantial following. These platforms are giving millions of kids a voice and cutting out the necessity of a corporate entity having to allocate exposure.
- When you do an audition, whether you get the role or not, do you think there are benefits in both outcomes?
I really subscribe to the idea that if I don’t book something it was never mine, to begin with. It wasn’t meant to happen so there’s no use in being upset about it. It took me a while to understand that. Now when I go in I just try to have fun with it. It’s like getting to perform a little five-minute play.
- For every human being, the way we feel about ourselves determines our perspective which in turn influences our actions. For actors, self-confidence seems to be even more present due to the wider exposure to professional and public opinions of others. Do you have a practice or exercise when you want to tap into more unconditional self-esteem?
I wish I could say I had a bulletproof way of tapping into it. I’m still working on it. I do think it’s a process of creating a more positive inner dialogue. Once the negative thoughts and beliefs in our head become more prevalent, the more they can start feeling like a reality, so it’s a matter of shifting the focus.
I’ve also started meditating quite a bit. One of my castmates, Barry, introduced me to the twenty for twenty challenge. Twenty minutes of meditation for twenty days. It really does not come easy to me but I’m forcing myself to do it and I find that it’s been very beneficial.
- You will be featured in NBC’s legal drama Bluff City Law, which premiered September 23rd, as an assistant and paralegal. What can you tell us about your character and your process of becoming him?
Yes! I play Emerson, the junior member of the law firm. Maybe not the most social person in the world but very caring, thoughtful and super intelligent. A boy genius and a very essential part of the group, even though he may not feel like it all the time. I believe at the core of it he’s just trying to find his place in the world and think that’s where I relate to him the most.
- Law firms are high-stress, fast-paced environments. How does your character navigate this environment?
I think the calmness and overall nonchalant attitude he carries is a nice contrast to the hectic energy of the firm. Emerson, like the rest of the people working there, is motivated to fight injustice and to see those accountable being held accountable. Knowing how satisfying the end result can be is what keeps him going through all of it.
- On Nickelodeon’s comedy-adventure series Hunter Street, you play Max. What is your process of connecting to your inner child to make your character engaging and exciting for your audience, especially the youngest ones?
Similar to how I approach any character I guess. I use whatever percentage of myself I feel is appropriate then build on top of that. I think Max’s Ferris Beuller-like carelessness and willingness for adventure is something that kids can relate to. It’s not all that far from who I really am…I’ll grow up soon.
- You are featured in the film Life in a Year alongside Jaden Smith and Cara Delevingne. How did you felt the transition from TV acting to film, and how do you embrace the differences, if you found any?
They’re similar in a lot of ways but I think the overall pacing and timing are different. Coming from Nickelodeon, where most things are a lot more exaggerated and slapstick-ish, I felt that I had to tone myself down a bit. When you’re watching a tv show you’re most likely watching it on TV so everything has to be visually pleasing from far away. Movies, for the most part, are intended for the big screen, so character interactions are magnified and every movement becomes more detectable so you have to be aware of that. I feel like there are more opportunities to implement subtlety in a film performance which is cool.
- Outside of your acting career, you are also a musician. Acting and music are both forms of storytelling. How does your acting influence your music and vice versa?
Music to me feels a little more personal. I’m writing from my own perspective about my own life and experiences using my own words. As opposed to acting were, even though there are glimpses of myself in these characters, I am telling someone else’s story. I need to do a healthy dose of both to function properly though.
- Do you have any upcoming musical projects?
I’d hate to be that “mixtape coming soon” guy but… mixtape coming soon.
- As a millennial, you have grown up with the emergence of social media. What role does social media play in your life? And as someone who has an influence on their followers, how do you use this platform to connect with your fans?
Social media changed my life. But it’s a tricky thing. I think it’s become less of a community and more of a popularity contest which can be hard to navigate as a young person. With whatever voice I have I try to discourage kids from deeming their self worthless because they don’t have a certain amount of likes or followers. I think it all depends on how you integrate it. Without social media, there’s no chance I’d be where I am today. I started out on Youtube. That’s where it all began. It’s where I posted my first video and with the help of social media sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc. That video got seen by Pepsi, who then reached out and asked me to be in a global commercial campaign. That changed my life forever.
- Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?
I’m not directly involved with any organizations or causes at the moment but while working here in Memphis I’ve gotten the chance to visit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. I encourage everyone to do some reading on the amazing things they do over there. These are the real heroes.
- The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of a Joyful Living. How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?
As of recently I’ve found myself somewhat inadvertently putting things aside to focus more on happiness. In return, I’ve found that it helps exponentially with the creative process, whether it’s writing or producing. But I can’t say that I’m always creating from a joyful space because even in my downs I feel the need to express that emotion. There’s a lot of beauty in despair and as an artist, I feel that it’s ok to embrace that as long as it doesn’t become a way of life.
- When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words from the Abraham-Hicks teachings, what is your take on such a statement?
One way or another there is a way to get whatever you want out of life. Manifestation and acceptance. I wish I could’ve instilled something like that in me earlier in life. It’s funny, I feel like in your twenties time starts to speed up like crazy. Maybe that’s just me. But in any case this life thing is short so do and experience that thing you’ve been wanting to.